As follows: (click here to download)
While Zooming around yesterday, we stumbled upon State v. Jerrod Watson, Jr. , 16-008459-CF10A, before Tim Bailey. It’s a major Brady scandal, featuring former ASA Amy Bloom, fired in June from the SAO for insensitive Facebook posts. The Sun Sentinel was present for yesterday’s hearing, which time didn’t allow us to attend. They have a full story in the works.
By way of background:
Alex Arreaza, counsel for Watson, filed this Motion to Vacate Plea, which he reports was granted after the SAO conceded. Watson, thirteen days past his eighteenth birthday, had been convicted on May 17, 2018 of Attempted Murder in the First Degree and Discharging a Firearm From a Vehicle, and sentenced to a year and a day in prison followed by ten years of supervision, concurrent with other matters.
From the motion:
The motion to vacate was filed after these SAO plea & closeout memos were discovered by Alex, information he says he learned about pursuant to a public records request.
From the plea memo:
And from Bloom’s closeout:
This morning, Arreaza stated the following:
“Jerrod was a minor, African American that was direct filed. After finding there was a sworn statement the state withheld the affidavit. This is disturbing because these constitutional violations seem to happen to African Americans and Hispanics that don’t have enough money to fight it. I was court appointed spd (special public defender). Now we go back to square one. We’re going to try the case. I’m surprised that the State has decided to go forward after reading Amy Bloom’s memo stating that they have no evidence and a victim recanting.”
Stay tuned for the full story from the Sun Sentinel …
The Florida Bar has taken the rotten tomato they were using for a ball in Brenda v. Blog, and gone home. Via letter dated August 25th to Forman, the case was formally closed some 667 days after the Bar received the initial complaint, following a no probable cause finding by Grievance Committee 17(c) on August 3rd. The controversial proceedings were carried through up to and including the Bar’s closure letter, which contained face-saving, false assertions. The Sun Sentinel’s Rafael Olmeda broke the full story earlier this morning.
Along the way, Brenda and her team at the Bar not only invigorated JAABLOG’s flagging interest in regular blogging, they also provided an abject lesson in the Streisand effect. If clerk’s employees, bailiffs, and other courthouse personnel outside of the blog’s traditional audience of lawyers, judges, media, and the JQC weren’t reading and commenting here before Brenda v. Blog, they are now.
As previously stated, our disappointment lies not with Brenda, of whom this type of conduct is to be expected. Our anger is with the disciplinary arm of the Bar, which by its actions has not only encouraged this type of awful behavior in Brenda and others like her, but has, most egregiously, stained the reputation of the Supreme Court, of which the Bar is an arm. The honorable men and women of Florida’s highest court deserve better, and the Bar should be held accountable.
Our deepest thanks to pro bono warriors Adriana Alcalde, Geoff Cohen, and John Howes, for seeing us through the most recent, and likely not the last, Bar assault on the Broward courthouse blog. Whether or not they agree with all or any of the things JAABLOG is, these honorable lawyers would walk the ends of the Earth to defend the Constitution of the greatest nation in the history of the world, upholding the solemn oaths they swore. They join Ed Hoeg, Russell Cormican, Jr., Norm Kent and Michael Klasfeld before them in their tireless, gratis efforts on behalf of JAABLOG, protecting free speech and true professionalism. We are truly indebted.
Now, without further ado, it’s time to add Brenda’s name to the JAABLOG Hall of Fame, namely the full & complete list of all those who have pursued or been the focus of baseless formal complaints to the Bar against the only unfettered, 1st Amendment defending courthouse blog on the planet:
Brenda Forman – who was found to have acted in bad faith in circuit court proceedings, defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as “dishonesty of belief, purpose, or motive” …
Matt Destry – who quit the bench under a cloud of serious JQC accusations …
Bobby Diaz – who was suspended and fined by the JQC for ethical violations in 2005 …
Marni Bryson – who is currently embroiled in a lawsuit involving accusations of marital infidelity and nude photographic texts of the judicial body …
Charles Morehead (RIP) – who violated Grievance Committee confidentiality ethics rules during l’affaire Scheinberg …
Jack Thompson – who was an attorney at the time of his complaints, and is now disbarred … *
(*It must be noted Jack became a very good friend to JAABLOG shortly after his complaints closed, and remains so to this day … )
In closing, our thanks to you, dear readers. Your support throughout the years has been astounding, and won’t be forgotten. The tips, comments, and readership do more to hold our elected officials accountable than any official agency, and with your continued support, JAABLOG will never be silenced by the type of harassment and extra-legal maneuvers the Bar resorted to in Brenda v. Blog. On that you have our solemn word …
THANKS FOR PLAYING!
COMING SOON– The return of Ilona Holmes’ Blue Light Special?
We were going to let Harold Pryor have a little breathing room after Tuesday’s primary victory, but reached out to him earlier today following loads of queries concerning the two specific issues below, which have also been topics in the comments section.
1. Will Ilona Holmes have a formal role in a Pryor SAO, assuming victory in November?
Heres what Harold had to say:
“It’s too early for me to make that determination. We just won a primary and have a general election coming up.
I will say she’s a great attorney and was a great judge, and why wouldn’t anyone want to consider Judge Holmes in any capacity?
I can also say I believe this rumor got going because I have asked former Bar president Eugene Pettis and Judge Holmes to head my transition team, if we’re fortunate enough to win in November.”
2. Is Mike Satz staying on the Parkland case?
“I’m still reviewing the matter, but it’s important to note the case is going on as scheduled, and I certainly have no plans to disrupt it.
While still being reviewed, it’s important to note the families I’ve spoken to during the primary election phase have strongly communicated to me that they want Mike Satz working on the case.“
State Attorney: Harold Pryor (pending November election v. Independent Sheila Alu v Republican Gregg Rossman
Public Defender: Gordon Weekes
Clerk of Court: Brenda Forman
Sheriff: Greg Tony (pending November election v. H. Wayne Clark)
Circuit Group 16: George Odom/Dennis Bailey pending November
Circuit Group 18: Patti Henning
Circuit Group 27: Frank Ledee
Circuit Group 30: Dale Cohen
Circuit Group 50: Linda Alley
County Group 22: Allison Gilman
County Group 27: Phoebee Francois
County Group 31: Natasha DePrimo
Dale Holness elevated from Mayor to King …
TO ALL THE WINNERS AND CHALLENGERS: THANKS FOR PLAYING!
Early leads … Odom, Henning, Ledee, Cohen, Alley, Gilman, Francois, DePrimo …
Early leads … Tony and Israel neck and neck …